Curly Coated Dog Grooming Guide


If you have a curly-coated dog, it's important to know how best to maintain their coat at home in between grooms. While the majority of these dogs are low shedders, they require a lot of maintenance to keep their coats looking their best.  Here is our handy guide to how you should groom your curly-coated dog at home. 

A curly coated dog coat includes the following breeds:

  • Bichon Frise
  • Poodle
  • Labradoodle
  • Cockapoo

Lets start with the all important why

The most important reason of all to brush your dog regularly in between grooms is because we want your dog to have a positive experience with us. If every time your dog visits a groomer and most of the time it is spent being brushed, which can be painful, then it will only cause unnecessary fear and anxiety from your dog.  Maybe you’re thinking: Isn’t it the groomers job to untangle and brush dogs? You wouldn’t show up to the dentist with yellow teeth and expect them be able to undo months of decay from not brushing your teeth.  We simply don’t want to inflict brush burn or cause dogs to get stressed from pulling and tugging on knotted hair to untangle it. 

Secondly A dog that is tug free can be groomed to the preferred length of a dog owners choosing. To keep the fluffy teddy look that you like it’s essential that is dog is brushed regularly between grooms. A dog’s coat that is not maintained will likely result in a short trim as continued brushing by the groomer will prevent unnecessary pain for the dog and will give the groomer the near impossible task of brushing a coat that has not been maintained for 6 weeks in the short period he or she has to achieve the trim the customer has asked for. 

Brushing a curly or wool coated dog

The two tools that are essential for doing so are a slicker brush and a metal comb. Brush first with a slicker brush then use a comb. You might also need a matt breaker tool for tails and ears. Before a groomer can trim a dog’s hair it must all be brushed out from the root to the tip. This is to ensure that all the hair is cut at the same length. A good dog groomer will want to give an even trim. It’s very important not to brush just the top coat of the dogs hair. If you just use the comb it can become stuck very easily which is why it’s important to use both. You can also use a detangling spray to help you condition the hair. Start by spraying the conditioner onto the affected areas and brushing it gently through the hair. We suggest Wahl Detangling spray or Animology Knot Sure.

If the hair is tuggy in many areas if your dog this will require lots of brushing to make sure all tangles and knots are brushed out before the groomer can start the trim. This can be painful for your dog if it occurs on most of its body as it will require pulling on the skin to brush out these tugs. Many dogs do not like being brushed especially when they’re not used to it and so a groomer is left with the difficult task of brushing a coat that has not been maintained for 6 weeks in just a couple of hours.  

A dog can get brush burn if its skin is brushed on the same spot for even a small amount of time. This is why a groomer would suggest it is important to shave under the tugs to prevent unnecessary pain to your dog.

Harnesses and jumpers can create friction that cause the hair to tangle more than usual if it’s not brushed regularly between grooms. This is also true if a dog’s legs and feet that are dried with a towel after walks. Rubbing a towel on the legs and feet will create friction which will accelerate the curls to weave together and become tugs.


A tail that is left to become tangled or matted will likely result in a painful pulling of the hair by the groomer to untangle it. Hair that cannot be brushed because it is too painful for the dog will likely have to clipped short. This isn’t a desirable look but may be necessary for the groomer to prevent any pain. 

Washing a curly or wool coated dog

Wooly dogs can often be discoloured and need thoroughly cleaned as dirt and grease can accumulate in their coats easily.

Drying a curly or wool coated dog

A curly or wool haired dog has a coat that will naturally absorb a lot of moisture so, following their bath, first dry the coat with a powerful handheld dryer then use a hairdryer. Use a slicker brush as you dry to keep the dog’s hair tangle free.

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